When a dog rejects a command, most owners try to force obedience by repeating it until they respond. This is not a very productive technique and will not help the dog learn. Instead, you must take a step back and think about the science of dog obedience training.
In this article, we will go through some of the reasons why your dog may be disobeying your commands. Note your pup’s behavior and see if any of them apply.
1. No or Poor History of Training
If the trainer has a history of being inconsistent or failing to follow through, the dog may have “learned” to get away with specific actions or disregard the handler altogether.
It’s much more challenging to get a dog to perform anything if he has never been trained. Although the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” isn’t accurate, the early learning process will be challenging if your dog has never been taught to follow even simple commands.
To begin, you must pique the dog’s attention through reward-based reinforcement. You’ll have a foundation of conduct once you’ve had your early accomplishments, and you’ll be able to expand on it. Keep in mind to take the process slowly and be patient.
2. Low Reinforcement Rate
There are many different distractions in the early stages of training. Anything in the environment will entice and reward your dog more than the training you’re providing. Because your dog is more interested in the ambient stimuli at this time, it’s vital to have a high pace of reinforcement.
To keep your dog motivated, give him goodies more frequently after each achievement. Because of this, he will learn to pay more attention to you than to the stimuli in his environment. Only once your dog has begun to respond successfully can you go on to a varied reinforcement plan where you will only give treats for successes once in a while.
3. Too Many New Behaviors Taught at Once
It’s easy to get carried away with the prospect of your dog becoming the obedient pet of your dreams—you may want to try to teach him new skills all at once in a single evening. So, if your dog isn’t “working” for you, consider whether you’re asking too much of him at once. When your dog rejects your commands, it may be because they’re too difficult for him to comprehend.
Make sure to take things slowly and don’t try to increase the number of tasks until he has learned the previous ones. To ensure that your dog succeeds, break it down into simple, manageable steps. You can also enroll him in dog training classes near you.
4. Too Many Distractions
Dogs learn better when there are fewer distractions. It’s a good idea to begin your training in a quiet place with few potential interruptions. When your dog has mastered his behavior in a peaceful environment, you can go on and try training in busier, noisier areas.
If you begin training on a busy street or at a dog park with many distractions, your dog may not respond, and he will lack a foundation for new skills in the future.
Cultivating communication between you and your dog is well worth your time and effort. However, your dog may be distracted by a variety of disturbances in addition to pent-up energy. Before you can teach your dog to listen to you genuinely, you must first address the underlying issues. And if you still have difficulty teaching him anything, you might want to consider enrolling him in a dog obedience school instead.
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